It’s no secret that Dodge’s viral partnership with Paramount’s upcoming comedy Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has been a massive success. The series of spots, which feature actor Will Ferrell’s fictional newsman going on a series of nonsensical rants that only tangentially relate to the Dodge brand, have engendered a massive uptick in sales, with some estimates pegging the bump as high as 59%. However, these ads are only a small part of the massive social media push surrounding Anchorman 2.
While the film’s heavy reliance on social media platforms for marketing purposes isn’t unheard of, its commitment to these platforms is notable. Parent company Paramount and digital content shop Zemoga have struck the largest film partnership in history with Tumblr, the enormously popular blog site that has recently taken the Internet by storm.
In addition, the campaign is making heavy use of native advertising on sites like The Huffington Post, whose homepage logo will be replaced with a promotional header for the film on December 16. In addition, Ferrell has filmed a series of region-specific ads set to air across the globe. Each video plays into unique localized cultural customs and jokes.
The social campaign is designed for maximum permeation with an emphasis on consumer participation and engagement. Paramount and Zemoga will hold a social media casting call billed “Join Ron’s News Crew,” which will allow people to audition for the positions held by Ron Burgundy’s news team by employing a series of tailored Twitter hashtags. The contest will be judged by a hitherto unnamed group of celebrities, and the winners will get a chance to walk the red carpet at the film’s New York premiere on December 15.
Paramount is also making heavy use of its new partnership with Tumblr to roll out a large selection of GIFs related to Ron Burgundy and co. Not only does this media form fit with many of the Anchorman franchise’s absurd one-liners, but it also draws heavily on independently created user content.
This user-generated content and its potential to go viral make up a very large part of the film’s advertising. One Paramount marketing executive admitted that more traditional, paid elements simply exist in order to bolster and provide a framework for the social buzz that surrounds the film.
The promise exhibited by this novel marketing strategy is almost limitless. By allowing viral social media to drive a campaign rather than to just exist as a byproduct, Paramount and Zemoga have crafted a fascinating new marketing model that allow for greater consumer engagement with their product. While this is the first major instance of such marketing, it’s fair to guess that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that there will be many similar campaigns further down the road.